Sabbatical 2017

Sabbatical 2017
Mill stream in Quimperle, France

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Israel 2016, Day 25

Without a doubt, the most spectacular site we've visited was Petra. Petra is situated in the south of Jordan, in what was once known as Edom. Many believe it is referred to in the Old Testament as Sella or Joktheel.

It rose to significant prominence as the capital city of the Nabateans, spice traders that thrived from about the 3rd century BC until the 4th century AD. They occupied Edom. The Edomites are believed to have been absorbed by them. 

Petra was considered unconquerable due to the only approach to the city being an exceptionally long, incredibly deep and very narrow canyon. It was easy to defend, had an ample water supply and was highly advanced for its time. 

The Roman Empire tried to seize it unsuccessfully for decades. Finally, in the early 2nd century, they contaminated the water supply and the city surrendered. 

Here are some of the photos of our walk into and out of Petra.

Dawn over the rocky crags of Petra

The entire site is owned and operate by the Bedouins with some help by a number of state agencies. Their shops and stands are scattered throughout. These shops are near the entrance.

Rides into and out of the park are available on horses, donkeys, camels and in carts

Prior to entering the city, there are numerous tombs and monuments carved into the rocks. 

A cart ambles by one of the larger tombs. This one hold the bodies of 7 significant people.

The entrance to the canyon is 22 meters wide making the city, which starts at the end, easily defend-able

Along the walls of the canyon, tombs, temples and rock carvings are numerous

The canyon walls tower over anyone trying to enter the city

There are some places in the canyon that narrow to less than 10 feet. 

Some of the wider spots offer breath-taking vistas

Features like this made it nearly impossible to attack the city

This Bedouin man played an ancient stringed instrument

Ed and Laura stand in what some think was a ritual marriage site. The bride and groom would face a temple and carving on the opposite wall of the canyon while performing the rite.

The canyon would hold a vast army but in some places only a few at a time would be able to make any progress toward the city. 

The end of the canyon is particularly narrow

Navigating the nearly two mile long canyon off this site in a grotto near the end. This is the Treasury, more a tomb than a bank. It's intricately carved fascia displays features that make up a calendar. This is also the beginning of the city.

There's a ton of activity in the grotto. Everything from animal rides to costumed characters to peddler selling jewelry, rocks and "authentic ancient Roman coins for 10 denar (about $14.00)!"
...and, of course, souvenir shops

After navigating another narrow canyon, the city-proper can be seen. These are homes carved into the hillside.

The homes were primitive but efforts to make them somewhat appealing are evident

Apparently high-technology has invaded even ancient cites. "Free wi fi" and a "Book Rack". Notice the rack but no books!

The ubiquitous shops sit below ancient houses while camels stroll by waiting for tired passengers. This is about three miles form the entrance.  

A 2nd or 3rd century Roman temple near the opposite end of the city

Heading back toward the entrance offers all-new vistas. Bedouins live in a very near the park that encompasses the ruins. Here, a shepherd leads his sheep across the road through the city

It seems everyone is selling colorful rocks, coins, jewelry, just about anything the can find on the ground and offer for a Jordanian denar. Many of the "ancient coins" and much of the jewelry are made nearby or come from China. Here a little girl of no more than 5 years old sells rocks. If you stop to look at her table, she says, "1 stone, one denar." If you turn to leave, she says, "Two stones, one denar!" All of the vendors are fierce negotiators, starting very high, "Silver, hand made bracelet, ten denar." But never giving up, sometimes following you for a few steps, even when you decline, "OK! I give you my best price! Three bracelets for one denar!" Very little of what they offer has any value other than as a momento.

Ornate and elaborate tombs show an emphasis on the after-life...

while simple homes demonstrate a simple approach to the here-and-now

The entrance to the second smaller canyon is equallt narow to the first. 

By this time, many visitors begin looking for those animal rides. 

Some spots are stunningly beautiful

Carriage are the most expensive way to travel. Prices do not vary. They are the same, 20 denar, whether you're going in or coming out no matter where you get on.

One of the more narrow spots in the canyon. I'm not sure how Indiana Jones was able to ride his horse through here so quickly!

The end, of course, marked by souvenir shops and more vendors


The suns sets over Petra and our trip! Tomorrow, we leave for Jerusalem. We'll spend the afternoon there then head for the airport tomorrow night (Wednesday evening). 

4 comments:

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  2. Hello Pastor John. I am ALSO A PASTOR from Mumbai, India. I am glad to stop by your blog post which gives you a round to Petra in Jordan. In fact I went to Jordan for our leadership Training some years back Did see places like the mountain where the Lord took Moses to view Promised land, then a place where Jesus was Baptized and the dear sea. Well I am blessed and feel honored and privileged to get connected with you as well a know you through your profile on the blogger and the blog post because of who you are in the Lord Jesus Christ and the Pastoral ministry you do. I love getting connected with teh people of God around the globe to be encouraged, strengthened and praying for one another. I have been in the Pastoral ministry for last 37 yrs years in this great city of Mumbai a city with a great contrast where richest of richest and the poorest of poor live. We reach out to the poorest of poor with the love of Christ to bring healing to the broken hearted. We also encourage young and the adults from the west to come to Mumbai to work with us during their vacation time. We would love to have young people from your church to come to Mumbai to work with us during their vacation time. I am sure they will have a life changing experience. I am sure they will have a life changing experience. God willing I will be coming to the States in the month of July and will be soo glad to stop by your place and share more about the ministry as the opportunity for your young and the adult to work with us. My email id is: dhwankhede(at)gmail(dot)com and my name is Diwakar Wankhede. Looking forward to hear from you very soon. God's richest blessings on you, your family and friends and also wishing you a blessed and a Christ centered rest of the year 2016.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hello Pastor John. I am ALSO A PASTOR from Mumbai, India. I am glad to stop by your blog post which gives you a round to Petra in Jordan. In fact I went to Jordan for our leadership Training some years back Did see places like the mountain where the Lord took Moses to view Promised land, then a place where Jesus was Baptized and the dear sea. Well I am blessed and feel honored and privileged to get connected with you as well a know you through your profile on the blogger and the blog post because of who you are in the Lord Jesus Christ and the Pastoral ministry you do. I love getting connected with teh people of God around the globe to be encouraged, strengthened and praying for one another. I have been in the Pastoral ministry for last 37 yrs years in this great city of Mumbai a city with a great contrast where richest of richest and the poorest of poor live. We reach out to the poorest of poor with the love of Christ to bring healing to the broken hearted. We also encourage young and the adults from the west to come to Mumbai to work with us during their vacation time. We would love to have young people from your church to come to Mumbai to work with us during their vacation time. I am sure they will have a life changing experience. I am sure they will have a life changing experience. God willing I will be coming to the States in the month of July and will be soo glad to stop by your place and share more about the ministry as the opportunity for your young and the adult to work with us. My email id is: dhwankhede(at)gmail(dot)com and my name is Diwakar Wankhede. Looking forward to hear from you very soon. God's richest blessings on you, your family and friends and also wishing you a blessed and a Christ centered rest of the year 2016.

    ReplyDelete